Jaap Blonk b. 1953

Jaap Blonk on UbuWeb

Vocalor (1998, Staalplaat Records)

1. Ad (0:33)

2. Kuol Quasi (2:51)

3. Récitation 11 (3:41)
Composed By - Georges Aperghis

Geen Krimp

4. I (3:02)

5. II (2:35)

6. III (1:27)

7. IV (3:21)

8. V (0:32)

9. Kolokol Uma (6:33)
Written-by [Poem] - Velimir Khlebnikov

10. Nonomotithur (2:09)
Written-by [Poem] - Guy De Cointet

11. Labior (6:13)
[[ View score ]]

12. Canto VII De Altazor (1:47)
Written-by [Poem] - Vicente Huidobro

[[ View score ]]

13. Plof (0:41)

14. Sabb (0:15)

15. Flab (0:17)

16. Weïh (0:11)

17. Prch (0:10)

18. Jiji (0:12)

19. Worr (0:16)

20. Kraa (0:24)

21. Retroplof (0:59)

22. A Isla Da (5:59)

23. Hommage À A.A. I (3:06)

24. Hommage À A.A. II (1:46)

25. Suavecito (1:23)

26. Lautgedicht (7:33)
Written-by [Poem] - Man Ray


Like its predecessor ‘Flux-de-Bouche’ (STCD 046, 1993), Vocalor features a number of versions I made of texts by great pioneers of sound poetry.

Velimir Khlebnikov’s Kolokol Uma, from the teens of this century, is written in his invented language ‘Zaum’ (‘Outside Reason’). It is made up of a repetition of the word ‘um’ (‘reason’, ‘mind’ or ‘spirit’), furnished with many different prepositions to create neologisms like ‘downreason’, ‘byspirit’ and the like. The harmonics seemed to me a nice image for the bells inside the mind. Canto VII is the last poem of the cycle ‘Altazor, or the Parachute Voyage’, written 1919-31 by the Chilean surrealist poet Vicente Huidobro. It is probably the earliest published example of South American sound poetry. On my previous recording I included ‘Axtherastical’ by Guy de Cointet, which I knew from Richard Kostelanetz’ great anthology ‘Text-Sound Texts’. Last year in Los Angeles I discovered De Cointet’s 70s book ‘Espahor ledet ko uluner!’, of which ‘Axtherastical’ turned out to be the second chapter. So what else could I do now but record the first chapter, Nonomotihur. As with ‘Flux-de-Bouche’, I chose to end this new album with a piece for the more seasoned listener. It is Man Ray’s 1924 Lautgedicht (Sound Poem). To me it looks like a poem crossed out by a violent censor, that’s how I found the sound.

Georges Aperghis, French composer of Greek origin, wrote his series of 14 Récitations for solo voice around 1980. Nr. 11 uses short snatches of everyday French speech for a text.

In case the Ad convinces you to buy it, this record brings you several other pieces that are completely my own. Of these, Kulo quasi was inspired by talking drums conversations. The 5-movement suite Geen Krimp is based on my native Dutch tongue. It uses some of the sounds that are notoriously resistant to those brave enough to try and learn the language. The title has to do with ‘not giving in’. After ‘Rhotic’ and ‘Frictional’ Labior is my third Phonetic Etude. Several years of experimentation led to this choice of favorite lip sounds, making use also of the stereo possibilities of the mouth. One day when I sat down to write a new poem in my extended Phonetic Alphabet, the signs didn’t obey me and made faces at me. I responded with facial, a string of 7 small portraits in speech framed by plof and retroplof. The title a isla da is concrete poetry shorthand for ‘a la isla aislada’ (‘to the isolated island’). Its text, which I treat in a loosely improvising way, is made up of the syllables of about 70 Cuban song titles of the 20s and 30s. Hommage à A.A. is dedicated to the visionary French poet and theatre pioneer Antonin Artaud. He wrote a large part of his devastating work during a 10-year stay in a mental institution. His French texts are interspersed with fragments of phonetic poetry, which he used to recite in his cell for hours on end, accompanying himself on little drums. Finally, suavecito is one of those endearing diminutives that abound in Latin American Spanish. It does not give the word ‘suave’ a smaller meaning but rather makes it gentler and more loving. Tenderly,

Jaap Blonk
Medellín, Colombia, January 1998